A crisis management unit has been activated by the Greek government to help with the evacuation of foreign tourists due to the ongoing forest fires amid a searing heatwave in Rhodes.
Jet2 cancelled all five flights to the island on Sunday, using the aircraft to fly people home.
At least one Blue Star Ferries ship has been deployed to provide accommodation for displaced holidaymakers.
A spokesperson for the Greek Civil Protection Group said: “Wildfires are burning in Rhodes, while air and ground firefighting force are trying to control them.
“Visitors are being evacuated safely from the affected areas of Rhodes. No injuries reported. They are being redirected to other hotels on the island.
“The evacuation of the hotel units in the affected areas took pace without problems to safe places.
“The authorities are taking measures to ensure accommodation for the evacuees. Also a Blue Star ship is available for hosting visitors.”
The authorities went on to stress that the affected areas represent “less than 10% of the total tourist capacity” on the island in an area south of Lindos between Pekoe and Kiotari on the southeast coast.
The Foreign Office confirmed that the Greek government had established a crisis management unit to respond to the situation in Rhodes with a contact number of +30 210 368 1730.
British consular assistance is also being provided via +4420 7008 5000.
Updated travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & development Office (FCDO) said: “Extreme temperatures are affecting many areas of Greece and there are a number of active wildfires including in Rhodes.
“If you are a British national affected by wildfires in Rhodes near Kiotari, Pefkoi, Lindos and the surrounding area, please follow the guidance from the emergency services. Call the Greek emergency services on 112 if you are in immediate danger.
“If you are planning to travel to Rhodes, please check with your travel operator or hotel prior to travel that the area you plan to visit is not impacted by the current wildfires.”
Jet2 holidaymaker Jon Hughes, from County Durham, took to Twitter to film the impact of the wildfires, saying he and his family had to leave a hotel in Lindos and walk four miles in the heat “across dirt tracks in smoke and ash”.
He want on to say: “Army, police and random drivers moved us to a hotel 10km away. Wild still blowing. Getting concerned for the safety of my family.”
A Jet2 spokesperson said on Sunday: “The situation in Rhodes continues to evolve quickly, and our absolute priority is the health, safety and well-being of customers and colleagues in the affected area.
“We can confirm that our in-resort teams are working hard to comply with the guidance of local authorities, and we are continuing to bring more customer helpers and colleagues into the area to provide further assistance.
“We are also flying an additional team of experienced colleagues to Rhodes to provide further support.
“We continue to ask customers in affected areas to follow the advice of both the local authorities, as well as staff in their hotels, who are acting under the advice of the authorities.
“We are contacting all customers in affected areas as quickly as possible by telephone so that we can support them with what they need. We are sending direct communications to affected customers to let them know this, and to remind them of our 24/7 customer helpline number.
“We have cancelled all flights and holidays that are due to depart to Rhodes today (five flights in total). We will be contacting affected customers to update them, and to let them know that they will be provided with a full refund and the opportunity to rebook. We will fly those five aircraft to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so that we can bring customers back to the UK on their scheduled flight.
“We are keeping the situation under constant review, and we will continue to make decisions in the best interests of our customers.”
Tui Group said on Twitter: “If you are on Rhodes in the affected areas, please follow advice from local authorities and our teams on the ground.
“Meanwhile, we are working hard to organise hotel accommodation and shelter in other areas of the island. We provide water and supplies where needed and our teams are present on the ground. Northern touristic areas of Rhodes are unaffected.
“Customers who are about to travel to the affected parts of Rhodes are proactively contacted by Tui and asked to amend their bookings.”